Corvette: Year by Year1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Winter / Spring 2013Due to bad - mostly too cold - weather, Safari was only minimally driven; about 200 miles from November 2012 to March 2013. I had come to the conclusion that top down was the only way to go and cold weather makes it difficult.
Air in the brakes had been a constant problem for Safari. Basically the pedal would go soft and require two or three "pumps" to get the right feel, obviously not an optimal situation. We would then bleed the brakes, noting air in the right rear caliper. After about 500 miles the situation would return.
Some Googling resulted in this interesting article: www.mamotorworks.com. One of the problems discussed was brake sponginess and "worn or mis-adjusted wheel bearings, warped ("out-of-true") rotors, a bent spindle face, or any combination of these faults." was listed as likely culprits. Mechanic Paul was a bit incredulous, as it seemed as though if that was the situation we would feel vibrations in the brake pedal and there weren't any. We did however note a pulsing sound when the brakes were applied.
It turns out the right rear brake rotor was out of round by .080 inches, a lot considering the specification was for only .008 inches. Paul trued the rotor and a couple thousand miles later the problem has not returned. Chalk another victory up to perseverance and tenacity!
A Functional EmbarrassmentAfter about two years of ownership, Safari still had one unfinished business item: the steering wheel. The previous owner did not like the original steering wheel (below left) that was supplied in all 1968 Corvettes, which was understandable. It was too large and caused some comfort issues as the drivers hand would bump up against the thick upper part of the door panel. It also included an offset that caused it to be too close to the driver. GM basically admitted that it was a mistake by issuing a one inch smaller diameter steering wheel which also had a lower offset for 1969. Many 1968 owners - both when the car was new and today - have switched to the later model steering wheel.
Next: Car Show Season
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Just wanted to add to my comments. I never thought of the C3 body style as "coke bottle" rather I referred to it as "Mako Shark" type.
Great information thank you for all your work putting this together. I had a 1968 convertible 327/350 hp, LeMans Blue/ white top, 4spd.I bought it in 1970 and it still had the firestone redline tires on it. Two weeks later the right rear axle bearing basicly melted, what a learning experience that was. 10 years later I was the Corvette,heavy duty truck,and motorhome mechanic at lyman Slack Chevrolet in Portland Oregon.A couple of things I noticed as per differences between early and late 68's was the late's had a brace between the fender and the wheel well at the hood hinge area to help keep the Fiberglas from cracking in that area.Also the trim piece that runs under the front fender back to the rear wheel well was black on the early's but silver on the later models (as I remember it ) so I painted mine silver. My steering wheel looked to be wood and I never had a left hand clearance problem with it.
I Love Corvette Stingrays. Always have‼ i used to work at a Corvette shop in Westport plaza in Maryland Heights Mo. from 1977 to 1982. I've owned a 67 a 73 and a 79. Always something to learn. Great hobby❗